Front offices made huge statements in the 2017 NFL draft, trading up for quarterbacks despite the heavy criticism aimed at this class.
ESPN's Ron Jaworski didn't feel any of the incoming passers deserved first-round consideration. Yet three teams moved up to claim their signal-callers.
The Chicago Bears started the trend when they decided to flip spots with the San Francisco 49ers to acquire Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2, as noted by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
The Kansas City Chiefs may have used a smokescreen to select Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 10, per Bleacher Report's Matt Miller:
The Houston Texans couldn't land Tony Romo in the offseason. On Thursday, they decided to trade with the Cleveland Browns to pick Deshaun Watson at No. 12. According to Rapoport, the Browns worked the phones to try to acquire Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins:
It's clear the haves and the have-nots in the league are separated by decent quarterback play. Despite all the talk about the less-than-stellar talent at the position, three signal-callers came off the board via trade-up within the top 12 picks.
Alabama prospect Reuben Foster went in the opposite direction. As far as talent, he's the best linebacker in the draft. However, an offseason filled with negative headlines dropped him to No. 31.
What should we expect in Round 2 on Friday? Several prospects with borderline first-round grades will be available. Where do they land?
|NFL Mock Draft—Round 2|
|33||Green Bay Packers (from Browns)||Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee|
|34||Seattle Seahawks (from 49ers)||Kevin King, CB, Washington|
|35||Jacksonville Jaguars||Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama|
|36||Chicago Bears||Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State|
|37||Los Angeles Rams||Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt|
|38||Los Angeles Chargers||Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky|
|39||New York Jets||Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida|
|40||Carolina Panthers||Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan|
|41||Cincinnati Bengals||Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama|
|42||New Orleans Saints||Davis Webb, QB, California|
|43||Philadelphia Eagles||Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado|
|44||Buffalo Bills||Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina|
|45||Arizona Cardinals||DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame|
|46||Indianapolis Colts||Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama|
|47||Baltimore Ravens||Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State|
|48||Minnesota Vikings||Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana|
|49||Washington Redskins||Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State|
|50||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio|
|51||Denver Broncos||Budda Baker, FS, Washington|
|52||Cleveland Browns (from Titans)||Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh|
|53||Detroit Lions||Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State|
|54||Miami Dolphins||Duke Riley, OLB, LSU|
|55||New York Giants||Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan|
|56||Oakland Raiders||Raekwon MacMillan, ILB, Ohio State|
|57||Houston Texans||Alex Anzalone, OLB, Florida|
|58||Seattle Seahawks||Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson|
|59||Kansas City Chiefs||D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas|
|60||Dallas Cowboys||Obi Melifonwu, SS, Connecticut|
|61||Green Bay Packers||Teez Tabor, CB, Florida|
|62||Pittsburgh Steelers||Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA|
|63||Atlanta Falcons||Isaac Asiata, OG, Utah|
|64||Carolina Panthers (from Patriots)||Marcus Sanders-Williams, FS, Utah|
Green Bay Adds Ball-Carrier
A wide receiver converted to a running back, Ty Montgomery, led the Packers with 457 rushing yards during the previous season on only 77 carries—six more than Eddie Lacy, who played five games.
Head coach Mike McCarthy didn’t rule out Montgomery as the No. 1 tailback for the upcoming campaign, per ESPN.com reporter Rob Demovsky, but Green Bay shouldn’t consider him as a three-down ball-carrier for an entire season. The 2017 class offers ample talent at running back and only two came off the board in the opening round.
Tennessee prospect Alvin Kamara carries a compact frame (5’10”, 214 lbs) similar to Montgomery with the experience at the position. After leaving Alabama and playing for Hutchinson Community College in 2014, he logged just 210 carries over the past two seasons with the Volunteers. Kamara comes into the league with fresh legs.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller lists the Tennessee product as one of the best players available on Day 2:
Ironically, Green Bay selected, Lacy, its former featured back in the second round of the 2013 draft at No. 61 overall. In this spot, at No. 33, Kamara should be the choice to help balance the offense and take pressure off of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Cam Robinson Falls to Jacksonville Jaguars on Day 2
At No. 20, the Denver Broncos selected the first offensive lineman, Garett Bolles, among the 2017 prospects. According to Adam Schefter, it's the latest we've waited for the position to be picked since 1967:
Among this year's group, offensive line talent leaves a lot to be desired, but tackle Cam Robinson to the Jacksonville Jaguars makes a great fit for both parties. In Round 1, the team drafted Leonard Fournette, who does most of his damage between the tackles.
The Alabama prospect brings grit and raw strength in his play style. Whether he lines up at right tackle or moves inside, lanes will open for Fournette behind a 6'6", 322-pound lineman with a mean streak.
The decision to acquire Robinson adds protection for quarterback Blake Bortles, who likely needs a solid year to keep his starting job beyond the 2017 season. The front office traded for left tackle Branden Albert in the offseason.
Another addition to the trenches would show a concerted effort to help a struggling quarterback on the hot seat. An improved ground attack with a strengthened offensive line should put the Jaguars in contention within a weak division.
Chicago Bears Follow Draft Shocker with Value Pick
On Thursday, the Chicago Bears set the stage for the trading frenzy to acquire quarterbacks. With the No. 36 overall pick, general manager Ryan Pace should add a borderline first-round prospect in 6'6", 295-pound defensive tackle Malik McDowell. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio would have the ability to experiment with his fit.
According to NFL Media's Lance Zierlein, McDowell flashed as a developing player, but he may benefit from a move to 3-4 defensive end:
"McDowell lacked production along the interior and could benefit from a move to a defensive end spot in a 4-3 or 3-4 front. McDowell is raw, but when he flashes, it can be blinding. McDowell is an explosive, ascending prospect with All-Pro potential if he grows into his body and takes the necessary coaching."
Despite a lack of production in sack numbers, there's potential pent up in McDowell's body that could push him to new heights within the pros if released. As a respected defensive mind in the league, Fangio may be able to fully unlock the strengths in the Michigan State prospect's skill set.
Editor's note: This article did not initially take Thursday's trades into account. We regret the error.